By Sheila Reynolds
Aug 26 2007
Much has happened for The Higgins of North Delta in the past few years – more live gigs, world travels and considerable media attention. But the biggest development perhaps has been earning the attention of record label representatives both here and in Nashville.
The trio – consisting of siblings John, Eileen and Kathleen – is currently in a “really sensitive” period of negotiations.
But, as Eileen notes, there’s virtually nothing more they can do to make things happen.
“At the end of the day, all the three of us can do is write songs and sing music and perform our shows,” says the 21-year-old. “That’s the meat and potatoes of what we do. If things come through, if things don’t – if you believe in it, you’ll stick with it and it’ll happen.”
That persistence has begun to pay off for the Celtic/country singers, who have been in the recording studio working on their first full-length CD.
Scheduled for mass market release in the fall, an advanced pressing is available now on the group’s website and at live shows.
The album includes two popular songs – Factory Girl and Walk Me Home Tonight – from The Higgins’ 2004 EP Wild Minds. The new tunes, including Hey Jamie and Sound of Summer, are all-original, except two: Factory Girl and the Emmy Lou Harris cover, Rhythm Guitar.
“This CD is totally representative of where we’re at and where we’ve been for the last few years,” says the blond-haired Eileen.
Work on the album began last year, but was interrupted by a December trip to Nashville, where they showcased their sound for industry representatives.
“It was kind of done in two chunks,” she laughs about the album.
“We’re really proud of it. I guess you have to think of it like you’re a professional songwriter, even though I don’t think I ever will think like that.
“When you get label interest from people in the industry who are really impressed with your songwriting and you know the idea was totally organic and within the three of us, it does give you a sense of pride.”
The Higgins – three of seven brothers and sisters – began singing together when they were small. Kathleen, now 18, performed her first gig when she was just seven.
However, things took a more serious turn, personally and professionally, when John broke his back in 1998 and was temporarily confined to a wheelchair. He took the time to learn to play guitar, he and his sisters teaching one another to strum. After his recovery, the group worked even harder to develop their already distinctive harmonies and discovered they also had a penchant for songwriting.
Back then, the group also included sister Mary. But as things began to pick up for the band with the signing of a management deal, the second oldest Higgins sibling decided to pursue other interests, bowing out of the band in 2004.
“It was a really good thing ultimately,” Eileen says. “At first we were like ‘whoa, this is going to be so different’ but you want everyone on board to be wanting it as much as you do.
“It was really wonderful. John and I and Kathleen, we really found we worked differently ... we started writing a lot more.
“You grow with having to change – and we did.”
Since then, Eileen has picked up the mandolin, which Mary used to play, and Kathleen and Eileen now share lead vocals.
Change and the passage of time has also brought maturity – both of mind and music.
“There comes a time where you go from being more amateur in your outlook and more naive in a way and you learn more as you get older, and that’s definitely been the case with us.”
The Higgins have been on the road much of this month, playing various venues in Washington and the B.C. Interior. They’ll return to the local scene Sept. 2 during the Summer Nights concert series at the PNE Mainstage in Vancouver. For more information, check out www.higginsmusic.com.
Copyright © 2007